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Visitors and patients at UCLA hospitals probably won’t notice what’s gone missing from the chili, hamburgers and chicken dishes they order for lunch.
But by putting antibiotic-free ground beef, ground beef patties and chicken breasts on the menus at the university’s Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, hospital officials hope to strike a blow against so-called superbugs.
Feeding antibiotics to cows, chicken and pigs is a common practice that enhances growth in the animals but also contributes to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance: when microbes evolve to become impervious to attack, making it more and more difficult for physicians to treat infections.
Bacteria that are susceptible to treatment die off in the presence of antimicrobial medication, allowing other bacteria that are resistant to drugs to thrive -- and endanger patients. Scientists say the process is inevitable, but might be slowed by limiting antibiotic use. The more the drugs are used, the more opportunities arise for resistant bacteria to evolve.
The FDA plan unveiled Wednesday would finalize a strategy that requires voluntary cooperation from the drug industry.
The more than two dozen manufacturers that supply antibiotics to the meat industry are being asked to remove growth promotion claims on products that are similar to drugs used on humans.
Known as medically important antimicrobials, they include popular drugs such as penicillin and tetracycline. Drugs that have no such equivalents would still be permitted to promote growth in animals. Health experts say these drugs aren't linked to antibiotic resistance in people. www.latimes.com...